They argue one evening and Ursa "falls" down the steps, though she later reveals that Mutt threw her down. She loses the baby she is carrying and has to have surgery to remove her womb. Tadpole cares for Ursa until she recovers and she agrees to marry him soon after her divorce is finalized. Ursa soon returns to the stage but things are not smooth for the newlyweds.
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Shelves: women-of-colour This is Gayl Joness first novel, published in It is set in the s, with a brief move forward to the s at the end. It also moves back to Brazil and a Portuguese slave owner called Simon Corregidora. The protagonist is Ursa, a blues singer whose line through her mother, grandmother and great-grandmother goes back to Corregidora.
The present day is set mainly in Kentucky. Jones looks back on the physical enslavement of black women through the generations of one family and draws comparisons with modern cycles of abuse between men and women.
Jones makes clear the issues are complex; need, intimacy and violence are entwined and the objectification of women takes many forms. Psychological bondage is also powerful. Ursa hears the stories of her forbears, the brutality, incest and trauma. There is some emphasis on generations following and bearing witness. The focal event of the book is right at the start. Her unborn child dies and she has to have an emergency hysterectomy.
I have tears for eyes. I was made to touch my past at an early age Let no one pollute my music. I will dig out their trumpets. I will pluck out their eyes. Fuck each other or fuck them. It was originally published in with the help of Toni Morrison who was working as an editor at Random House at the time.
Morrison famously stated that no novel about any black woman could ever be the same after this and the influence Corregidora had on Morrison is very evident. At the beginning of the novel she suffers a terrible injury after being thrown down the stairs by her jealous husband Mutt.
The novel traces their tumultuous relationship over the years while Ursa recounts her early and later life. Both she and this novel are filled with the weight of history.
Corregidora[ edit ] This article may contain an excessive amount of intricate detail that may interest only a particular audience. Its publication coincided with the peak of the Black Arts Movement and concepts of "Africanism. The novel moves across different geographic spaces, from Brazil, to a moment in St. Louis, but is predominantly set in Kentucky. A song branded with the new world" From the age of five onward, Ursa inherits the duty to "make generations" that can testify to the brutal crimes of slavery.
But this transmission keeps the psychological violence going, perpetuates it through the generations. Every man proves to be abusive and possessive. In short, the novel seems to represent sexuality itself--male or female, black or white, straight or gay--as a cruel disease. Perhaps the most memorable discursive passage in the book hints in the style of grim mid-century late modernism cf.